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January 24, 2015

Addicted to Connection. {Poem}

QThomas Bower/Flickr

I’ve been teaching yoga in prisons for a couple of years now.

The authenticity one encounters behind the walls is unlike much of the outside world.

They generally don’t hide their emotions behind a carefully-crafted veil.

What you see is what you get.

I love every minute of it and share my heart and struggles willingly. I feel more at home communicating about the stuff of life there than I do at our local pub.

I often ask myself why this is and realize that my true self, the Scorpio who enjoys diving deep into the muck of what makes us such beautifully flawed humans, is met with resistance at many of my social gatherings.

I have always been enamored with the stories of Jesus choosing to hang with the sinners of his time, the outcasts. I contemplate being a bit of an outcast, choosing to live a life in accordance with a combination of Christ-centered and yogic sensibilities.

I’m addicted to connection—real, heart to heart, transformative encounters.

I believe we are all looking for a way to fill the void, that fear of being alone, dying alone. Some of us get addicted to drugs, alcohol, shopping, gambling and sex in our attempts.

Something shifts in me when I look in their eyes and say to myself,

“I am you and you are me.”

But I can’t honestly avoid the cynic in me entirely. I still wonder how much of my service is self-serving and unpure. I wonder what addictions and svadhyaya (self-study) shadows I remain blind to.

And since Jesus said,

“It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”  

I am addicted to yoking with breath to the Son of Man’s wisdom.

At least that’s my hope.

Connected and Addicted

yogi tears


and the sound of ujjayi breath

conferring ecstatic silence

behind prison walls


that smell like home


and maybe urine


to practice


and preach


human connection

 

taking up my own cross

embracing my own

incarnation

 

asana led in the halfway house

only to find


the weekend sluts

and the greedy druggie

look like me

mirror gazing

at the inner

criminal

the one jesus loved

 

so they sit

in lotus


all satisfied

 

a woman


chin in hand


she knows more than she’ll ever understand

getting high, drunk and horny


each night


it’s the same

 

and each morning we salute the sun

praying to a god


who might crucify our minds


and prostitute our loss

making us weak

 

with repetition

and a fistful of

mercy

 

addicted

 

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~

Author: Anita Brown

Apprentice Editor: Brandie Smith/Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock

Photo: Q Thomas Bower/flickr

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